From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 1—This endearing tale traces the activities of a young turtle through a 24-hour period. His father reads a bedtime story about penguins, and Little Turtle takes it all in, the transformation beginning in his dreams. The next morning, he puts his grandfather's black jacket over his head and waddles off to school, book in tow. His friends are delighted. The teacher, who clearly understands the value of a teachable moment, encourages the class of critters to pass balls to each other using just their feet (as penguins do with their eggs) and to slip down the slide on their bellies (again imitating their role models). The fantasy continues through the youngster's evening routines—until his dad opens a volume on monkeys. Cheerful watercolors and expressive line art imbue the matter-of-fact narrative with personality. Gorbachev's compositions range from cameos isolated against expansive white backgrounds to detailed dream sequences bleeding off spreads. This nurturing tale celebrates the inspiration and information found in books, the invention bubbling up from a child who is read to, and the quality of learning that is possible when a teacher seizes the moment. From the cover art mimicking a tuxedo to the penguin facts at the conclusion, the design and content are one.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
After hearing a bedtime story about penguins, Little Turtle decides to become one. The next day he dons red slippers and his grandfather’s black jacket and sets off for school, where his teacher, Ms. Dog, and classmates are remarkably accommodating: all day they read penguin books, practice passing balls (the way penguins do with their eggs) and toboggan down the playground slide. That evening Father Turtle chose a new bedtime book—this one all about monkeys—setting the theme for Little Turtle’s next adventure. Gorbachev’s exuberant story and sunny, watercolor-and-ink illustrations present a safe and loving world where imagination is encouraged, teachers have the time (and the inclination) to follow the interests of their students, and bullies (or at the very least party poopers) have been banned. Children are sure to enjoy the spreads featuring Turtle and his classmates diving off the slide and waddling around the classroom wearing jackets over their heads. Appended with a list of penguin facts, this will be a popular read-aloud, especially for those who appreciate the educational value of play. Preschool-Grade 2. --Kay Weisman